The sun rises just before 5am here, and this morning it’s actually visible through clear skies.  The last several days have been rainy ones.  We weren’t the only boat needing to have some work done and trying to catch the weather window that started Wednesday.  Unfortunately, with all the competing work, our canvas and furler bearing replacements weren’t quite done in time and were delivered in the rain, so we’re still here.  I got the last of it yesterday and today I’ll be trying to get everything back together so I can catch the next weather window to make the passage along the Wild Coast.  Lauren left yesterday for a much deserved trip home for the holidays that has more than a few people pretty excited, so I’ll be single-handing or possibly taking on a local to help with night watches. 

DSC_0575 The new gray tramps and white suncovers give her nice new look.  The new mainsail cover goes on when we get back.

The next 700+ miles to Cape Town are the most dangerous of our trip in the wrong weather, but shouldn’t be any problem at all as long as we take advantage of good weather windows and the forecasts hold.  I’m hoping to catch up with Marionette or some of our other friends by Christmas, but the weather is the determining factor.  Bad storms along the coast regularly create very steep freak waves of 65 feet or more, so you have to have a healthy respect for the conditions and let the itinerary become what it becomes.

We made a couple more friends here that are worth mentioning.  Diogo and Flavio are two young Brazilians sailing a 45 foot catamaran around the world.  Someone else is paying for their trip, though.  All they had to do to earn that sponsorship was windsurf by themselves, with only small backpacks, along the entire coast of Brazil.  If I remember right, it took a year and two months.  As if that wasn’t enough, Diogo windsurfed from the Brazilian coast to the beautiful offshore island of Fernando de Noronha and back, a distance of 200 nm each way, without a support boat.  They had some pretty good stories and the pics and videos from this trip are pretty amazing.  Diogo is a dedicated surfer as well and some of his helmet cam surfing videos are mind blowing, especially when he’s surfing through perfect tubes that are curled over clear water so shallow you can see the details of the coral just beneath it the surface.  Definitely not for the faint of heart.  He joked that when the waves are that perfect and they’re the only boat anchored there in a remote place, his wife tends to get a little upset with him because he surfs for 10 hours and then plops into his bunk exhausted, just wanting to see the video of the waves.  Like Diogo said, they probably know the coast of Brazil better than anyone, and they gave us some tips on places to stop in Brazil that sound interesting.  You can check out their website at

We also had the first tango night aboard Pura Vida.  One of Marionette’s crew, Gaya, has been taking tango for 8 or nine months and doing very well, so she gave about four couples a humorous and fun tango lesson.  It’s a really interesting experience, especially for couples.  I don’t think my not being a dancer made a lot of difference as it’s quite a bit different from other dancing.  After learning the very basic approach to timing and the proper way to take a step in any direction, the real challenge becomes communicating nonverbally to your partner which direction you want to take a step in.  You stand balancing with your upper bodies leaning into each other so that the follower can sense the direction the lead wants to move by weight changes and motion.  Which foot you’re going to move in that direction depends on which foot your weight is on at the moment, with the lead having the job of being aware of and controlling the shifting of weight from foot to foot for both dancers.  Lots of entertaining fun, but I’m glad there are only photos (we’ll get them from Marionette and post later) and no video.  The concepts are simple, but the execution is anything but.